Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and some of the other signs of aging? Also known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling is an incredibly effective treatment that uses a series of short needles to delicately poke microscopic holes all over the surface of your skin.
The goal of microneedling is to open up a direct path to lower levels of the derma. Skincare products and serums can then be applied to the face, where they are more easily absorbed into the skin via the tiny holes created in the microneedling process.
If you’re feeling a little bit squeamish, know that microneedling sounds much worse than it actually is. The holes created are so tiny – about the same size as acupuncture needle holes – that pain is minimal and no scarring occurs.
Thinking about whether it’s right for you? Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of this revolutionary, collagen-boosting treatment.
CONSULT OPENLY WITH YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Be open and honest with your medical professional about any skin problems before the treatment. You should not have a treatment if you have any sort of rash or breakout; likewise if you are treating any sort of skin infection. Finish using topical medications and reschedule your treatment to avoid spreading your infection or causing complications, even if your infection is no longer visible.
Make sure you tell your medical professional if you have had a cold sore or if you have herpes. You may need to take an antiviral medication for a couple of days before your procedure to prevent an outbreak during the healing process.
AVOID TOPICAL TREATMENTS
Your medical professional will instruct you to cease the use of all topical medications, including Retinoids like Retin-A Micro and Vitamin A products around five days before the day of your microneedling treatment. The only topical products you should use on your skin in the days leading up to your procedure are your regular facial cleansing products and sunscreen (which you should be wearing on a daily basis). You should also avoid self-tanning products.
AVOID ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS
Anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprofen, should also be avoided for at least three days before your microneedling appointment. Taking this sort of medication will actually suppress your body’s inflammatory response. That might be great for an injury, but microneedling is actually designed to gently stimulate inflammation, which promotes skin rejuvenation. Avoid them for at least one week post-treatment, too.
AVOID BLOOD THINNERS
Certain medications can thin your blood and cause excess bleeding and bruising. These include Aspirin and fish oil supplements, among others. You should stop them at least one week prior to your procedure. However, you should never stop taking prescribed medications without talking to your physician. They may have special instructions for when you can stop and restart your therapy.
USE SUN PROTECTION
As noted before – always wear sunscreen. Daily! Even if it’s cloudy. Use hats, sunglasses, and clothing to keep skin covered up while retaining your stylish appearance; they’ll help you avoid sunburn.
You should not have a microneedling treatment if you have had any sort of sunburn in the two weeks before your appointment. Similarly, you should avoid microneedling directly after IPL and laser procedures; they, too, use UV rays that may be too harsh on your skin if used closely together.
After treatment, it’s all about protecting your skin. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (where possible; hey, sometimes life happens) for about two weeks after your treatment.
EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and can enhance your results. Some medical professionals recommend exfoliating a few times before treatment, usually spacing sessions about three days apart. Your last exfoliation session should be at least two to three days before your procedure. Never exfoliate the night before your treatment.
AVOID HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENTS
Avoid any sort of hair removal product or procedure in the area to be treated, including waxing or creams, for at least a week prior to your procedure. Do not shave on the day of the procedure, or you may end up with skin irritation. You can shave up to 24 hours before the procedure; if your skin is particularly sensitive, you may want to shave two to three days prior instead.
ARRIVE WITH CLEANSED SKIN
Do not apply anything to your face on the day of your procedure, including sunscreen, makeup, lotions, serums, or perfumes. Anything on your skin will interfere with the process and the absorption of the healing serums used during the procedure.
AVOID STRENUOUS EXERCISE
Don’t participate in any activity that will cause you to sweat or open your pores for at least 24 to 48 hours after your procedure. This means no strenuous exercise or swimming, no hot baths, no hot showers, and absolutely no sauna sessions.
ELEVATE WHEN SLEEPING
Plan to sleep with your head elevated on pillows or in a chair for the first night. Sitting up will reduce swelling and related pain. It will also help you to avoid rolling or sleeping on your face. If you do sleep in your bed, make sure you have changed your pillowcases and sheets so your skin isn’t exposed to bacteria.
SKINCARE & MAKEUP
Your medical professional will instruct you as to how to wash your face the day of treatment, but most will give you a post-procedure kit with a mild cleanser to use for the first day or two. Avoid makeup and heavy serums for as long as possible after your treatment; aim to avoid them for up to three days if you can. You can usually resume your normal skin and makeup routine after the third day. If you absolutely must wear makeup sooner, stick to mineral-based products only for the first three days.
CREATE A SAFE MICRONEEDLING TREATMENT PLAN
Make sure you have a set treatment schedule and stick to it. Skin rejuvenation usually requires a minimum of four treatments. Those treating acne scars may need five to eight treatments, while patients treating thicker keloid scars may need up to 10 treatments. Treatments are generally spread out around four to eight weeks apart; the exact timing depends on the age of the scar and the aggressiveness of the treatment.
A complete microneedling treatment plan does involve a bit of a time commitment. Patients who struggle with scars and deep skin blemishes are often extremely impressed with the results – even after the first treatment session alone.
We can’t wait to see your results!